As I’ve mentioned, the California Audio Show is less of an industry event and more of a dealer show. The room run by Steven Lester was a fine example of that, with audio quality taking a back seat to the overall experience that Lester offers.
The system here centered on the $33,000 SIM2 Lumis UNO projector and an eight foot wide Vutec screen. Another thirty-odd thousand bucks worth of audio electronics by Linn (the real one) were connected by van den Hul cables to Tannoy‘s $16,000 per pair, alnico driver, DC10a speakers.
Visitors to the room were treated to a cascade of ripped concert videos and Video Music Awards snippets. Amy Winehouse’s heartbreaking performance of “Back to Black” at the 2007 European Music Awards was on heavy rotation. On another visit, we caught a fairly lovely video of Toussaint and his band performing selections from The Bright Mississippi that, despite the flaws in the room, was showcasing that Tannoy way with piano.
This room did the honorable and important thing by breaking the All-Norah-Jones-All-The-Time playlist that haunts so many audio shows. Both the music selections and the choice of format were brave, tasteful, and excellent. They give a sample of how a good system can integrate into a home life instead of a padded chamber. These are good things. As far as this hobby is concerned, these are important things. This was, in many ways, a valiant effort.
Unfortunately, the speakers were shoved hard into corners with sadly predictable results.